Before you move to Qatar you should decide what items are worth transporting with you, and what you can buy once you arrive. When considering this you should also think about import and customs fees. For example, cars are much cheaper in Qatar than in most other countries, and Qatar also places import fees on cars, so instead of shipping your current vehicle to Qatar you might consider selling it and purchasing a vehicle in Qatar. It is also possible to rent furnished property in Qatar, so you may not need to ship your furniture with you either.
When your items arrive in Qatar you will be contacted by the Qatar Customs Department located at the airport (or port). You may have to pay certain taxes/duty on these items (5%) before taking receipt of your belongings. You must make sure your shipments arrive in Qatar after you do, as it is impossible to clear customs without presenting a passport.
For more information on customs and fees, refer to the section on "Customs and Import".
The price of moving depends on the how much is being moved, the value of the goods, and the distance to be moved. If possible, ship only the truly indispensable items and try to buy when you arrive to abate some of the cost.
Basic shipping costs are calculated on the amount of volume (Cubic Feet) that your packed goods will take up in one of our shipping containers. Volume is calculated by multiplying the length x depth x height.
An example would be a full size refrigerator/freezer that is 3 feet (.91 meters) wide, 2 feet (.6 meters) deep, and 6 feet (1.8 meters) high would be 36 cubic feet (1.01940 m3).
A 20 foot (6 meters) container has a total cubic capacity of 1172 cubic feet (33.2 m3)
A 40 foot container (12 meters) container has a total cubic capacity of 2392 cubic feet (67.7 m3)
A standard 2 to 3 bedroom house or condo should fit into 1 x 20ft container. A larger 4 to 5 bedroom house would need 1 x 40ft container. One benefit of a larger shipment is that the greater the overall volume for shipment, the lower the rate per cubic foot, and vice versa.
Removal cost also depends on the point of origin and final destination. Certain regions are more expensive despite a shorter distance.
It can cost from $3,000 USD to ship basic items (i.e. not furniture or cars) to Qatar from the USA. It can cost from $4,000 to ship a 20' foot container from Toronto, Canada to Doha.
The final shipping price is almost always more expensive than even the best estimates. Be knowledgeable about basic costs and budget more than the cost of the estimate.
The three basic options are to go by ground, sea or by air, or a combination of the three. Most companies offer all options, so inquire about the price difference and decide which method is best for you.
Moving with only ground travel is uncommon unless moving a short distance. This is much slower than flying, but much less expensive. This method is often done in conjunction with sea or air shipping.
To move by sea takes about 6-8 weeks (sometimes up to 3 months) but costs less than traveling by air. If moving by sea, your household goods will be packed into containers that are usually loaded at your residence. Once your home is packed into the containers, they are then shipped by rail or transport to the port where they are then loaded on to a steamship container. The container is then loaded on the boat as cargo.
Once your goods have arrived in Qatar, the container is unloaded and must pass through customs. International movers will be able to help you with the custom forms and are responsible for clearing your goods.
Moving household items by air is becoming increasingly popular, despite a much higher price tag. Heavy cardboard boxes are normally used to pack your goods, although some airfreight companies will use containers. You may find that shipping items by air is less expensive than renting a furnished place or living in a hotel. Due to the frequency of air travel, shipping items by air is usually a fast option.
Airfreight is calculated on either the actual gross weight of the consignment or the volume weight, whichever is the greater. Weight is expressed in kilograms. To calculate the volume weight of a given item we multiply the length, breadth and height in centimeters and divide by 6000 to obtain the volume weight in kilos. For household goods the volume weight generally exceeds the gross weight.
Some basic factors in determining the best shipping method are:
To save money, you can ship your items with other people's belongings. Known as "groupage", your personal belongings will be shipped with the personal belongings of one or more customers. While this offers considerable financial savings, it can take much longer. Usually, the shipment is sent a central location warehouse with later shipments being made to a country specific destination.
You can look for people to share a container on the Qatar Expat Forum's topic Planning Your Move to Qatar.
If your shipment is large, or cost is not an issue, direct shipping is usually a better option. The truck will contain your personal belongings only and will go directly to its final destination without stopping at any other warehouse.
Finding a Reputable Moving Company
To find a reputable shipping company you can ask for reviews and recommendations in EasyExpat's forums or network, or talk to friends and co-workers in Doha. Your Qatari employer's HR department may also be able to make a recommendation.
It is advisable to get at least three estimates in writing.
Use the Recommended Service Partner tool below to compare prices and receive free quotes.
As any expat knows, the key to a successful move is all in the preparation. By readying yourself for any possible bumps in the road ahead of time, you can rest assured you’ll be prepared to handle anything moving throws at you.
Removal Services Scotland has put together ‘The Ultimate Family Moving Guide’ in partnership with EasyExpat.com - so whether you're a moving pro or a first timer, our handy guide can take the stress out of your next move to Qatar.
When you move internationally you are taking a big step. Lots of things are changing and you have a million things to think about and take care of. If you are able to select a top of the line moving company that moves for a modest price, it can take a big weight of your shoulders in busy times.
Our network of international removal companies can move your furniture & possessions to Qatar and anywhere overseas.
Filling in the form at the bottom will allow you to request up to 5 quotes from various moving companies. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.